8 FEB 2022

Fortumon Mari-Liis: “The diversity of our projects means work never gets boring”

image of Mattias Liivak

Mattias Liivak

Head of Marketing & PR, Fortumo

image for Fortumon Mari-Liis: “The diversity of our projects means work never gets boring”

Who are the people building Fortumo (Fortumons)? For today’s interview we asked a few questions from Mari-Liis who’s soon celebrating her 4th year in the company. 

Mari-Liis works as a Software Engineer in the Connectivity Development team. In her role, she builds out and maintains the integrations with our payment channel partners, more than 300 of them.

Continue reading to learn more about life in the Engineering team and if you’re looking for a new challenge, check out the open positions in our Careers Portal.

Tell us your Fortumo story: when did you start, why Fortumo & what are you doing here?

I joined Fortumo in the fall of 2017 through an internship. At the time I was a BA student in Computer Science but had no clear vision of what I wanted to do. When I asked around for various IT companies in Tartu that accept interns, Fortumo was the only recommendation that replied “We have an internship program next fall. Apply then!”. 

After going through the recruitment process, I was accepted as an intern. During my 4 months as an intern, I learned so much from a lot of experienced (and hilarious) people which really gave me confidence in my ability as a developer. I loved everything about Fortumo: the people, the culture, the job. When the internship ended, I really didn’t want to leave, but we parted ways. 

A few months later, when I was looking for Junior Dev jobs around Tartu, I got a call from Fortumo that they would love me to join the team permanently. After ending the call, I remember crying on the phone to my mother that I finally have my dream job. And after more than 3 years, I’m still here!

How would you describe Fortumos work culture to your friends?

Fortumo is a place where I want all my friends to work. I’ve always described it as a hard working environment where you can learn a lot from experienced individuals and have fun while doing it. You always get open and honest feedback so you have a clear idea which areas you are good in and which areas need improvement.

What do you enjoy the most about your work?

What I love about working here as an engineer is the diversity of the projects we work on, which means that work never gets boring. Besides work, we organize our own internal events like board game nights, movie nights, poker evenings and so on. So far one of my favourites’ have been Prosecco Mondays in Tallinn and McDonald’s Mondays in Tartu. It’s a great way to get to know your co-workers and relax after a hard day’s work.

Why have you picked fintech as a sector to work in?

When I started looking for an internship, I didn’t have a clear industry in mind. I did want to be a game developer at some point, but it didn’t fully catch my interest. After three years of working in Fortumo, I wouldn’t like to work in any other sector. 

Since I closely work with integrating telcos into our platform, I have had the opportunity to see how the fintech sectors differ in each country. It has broadened my horizon and taught me how to communicate with and understand people from different cultures. Fintech feels like home.

What are the key factors for great teamwork?

The most successful projects have been projects where there is open and clear communication between the developers and the stakeholders. If there are unanswered questions or if there is no clarity, a discussion should take place to make sure that everyone is on the same page so the whole process would go as smoothly as possible. Occasional jokes are highly encouraged.

How has your experience working in Fortumo differed from working in other companies? How have the experiences been similar?

Fortumo is my first job as a software engineer, and no new opportunities have yet convinced me to leave. The bond with the Fortumons and the variety of projects with different telcos & merchants are the primary reasons why I want to stay.

Tell us your craziest or funniest Fortumo story so far?

One of my favourite stories is the creation of Stabby. We have a monthly ZEN Friday event where engineers can focus on anything close to their heart instead of work. 

To encourage productivity, we built a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot named Stabby McStabface during one of these events. It’s primary functions were detecting whether anyone was pushing failed builds to TeamCity and if so, running up to them and stabbing them in the shin. 

During beta testing, we released Stabby into our office and it just stabbed everyone it saw, not just engineers. That day was the highlight of my career in Fortumo. Just to be clear, Stabby wields a plastic knife, not a real one.

Looking for a new challenge? Check out open positions at Fortumo.

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